Tag Archives: Outdoors

Heath Aster

Heath aster, Aster ericoides, is a late-blooming small white flower that is attractive to a wide variety of late season pollinators. It forms a wonderful backdrop for small butterflies, bees, wasps, and a host of small flies. When it has … Continue reading

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Noon Walk Butterflies

I take a walk over my lunch break, and I count butterflies as I am doing it.  Here are the results of this year’s surveys.  I saw 24 species, 943 total butterflies.  The species where I counted more than one … Continue reading

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Not So Many Butterflies

Most years find September a great time for butterflies.  During a normal year, I would find dozens or hundreds of butterflies competing for the nectar resources of asters in my prairie. Tonight I only found three.  Two orange sulfurs and … Continue reading

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A Great Spangled Fritillary

One of our normally common large butterflies is the great spangled fritillary, Speyeria cybele.  This year they showed up later than normal, by about two weeks.  I had heard reports that they were numerous in southern Iowa, but had not … Continue reading

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More Chasing Butterflies

I saw these black swallowtails from about 50 yards away, chasing each other.  Were they in a pre-mating display?  I don’t know.  Butterflies will chase after individuals of other species or a potential mate.  Maybe it takes the chase for … Continue reading

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A Good Year for Odonates

This has not been a good year for butterflies so far–the numbers are way down from normal years.  There is a different story for the odonates–the dragonflies and damselflies. We have good numbers and variety. Odes can be difficult to … Continue reading

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Mourning Cloak Butterfly

I saw this butterfly a number of times before I was able to photograph it.  In fact, while I was chasing it, it landed on me several times.  I did not get a picture, but it flew close enough that … Continue reading

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First Butterfly Photo of the Year

I got my first butterfly photo of the year today.  Here it is: It was a pretty underwhelming picture of a pearl crescent.  I have not seen pearl crescents this year until today, and they seem fairly thick now.  I … Continue reading

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Waltzing Flies

This winter, our dog Mackey discovered a dead deer (or maybe more than one) in the fields.  He brought pieces of it up to the yard.  It was pretty gross, and we tried to take these things away from him.  … Continue reading

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Social Bug People

There have always been people who are interested in insects, and I have always counted myself as one of them.  It seems to me, though, that over the course of my life the social nature of activities related to insects … Continue reading

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